Brandt Snedeker's putter shows up in a big way at U.S. Open

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Brandt Snedeker's putter shows up in a big way at U.S. Open

PGA Tour

Brandt Snedeker's putter shows up in a big way at U.S. Open

ERIN, Wis. – Golf fans have been spoiled lately in the sense that they’ve witnessed for six straight major championships the emotional theatre of players breaking through for their first major victories. (How great was that moment of Jason Day winning the 2015 PGA? Or Sergio winning the 2017 Masters?)

With no past major champions among the 18 players within three shots of the lead through two rounds at Erin Hills, that streak could stretch to seven.

Brandt Snedeker certainly wouldn’t mind that.

At 36 years old, the Nashville resident still sits on zero majors. But at the halfway point of this U.S. Open, he finds himself at 5 under and two off the lead thanks to a 3-under 69 on Friday.

“I felt really refreshed, which is what you need to when you come into the U.S. Open, you can’t be fried at all,” said Snedeker, who missed more than a month of PGA Tour action with what he called “trigger finger” in his left hand. This is his third event back, though he’s taken the past two weeks off.

“I’m excited where I am.”

For all the talk that Erin Hills is a bomber’s paradise, Snedeker is doing just fine. He’s well outside the top 100 in average driving distance this week at 295.4 yards, but he’s also missed just five fairways. On Friday, his trusty putter showed up in a big way as Snedeker drained four putts from long distance, including one from 30 feet for birdie at the par-4 17th after he drove it in the rough, and two from 40-plus feet on Nos. 4 and 6.

“I love the way the greens are rolling, and there was a ton of footage putts, made a bunch of 20-footers,” Snedeker said. “Really what made my round what it was.”

With rains expected overnight, Erin Hills, which was just starting to firm up, could get softer. Snedeker would prefer it not. He wants Erin Hills to show its teeth over the weekend. He relishes a potential weekend dogfight, especially with so many major champions out of contention (i.e. Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, who all missed the cut).

“The leaderboard is shaping up quite nicely,” Snedeker said. “… I think we’ll have a way better idea how the tournament’s going to work out tomorrow afternoon. If the conditions stay the way they are right now, the leaderboard will start to look a lot different.”

But if the rains do come and Erin Hills gets soft …

“You’re going to have to be aggressive,” Snedeker said, “and you have to make a ton of birdies.”

If Snedeker keeps putting the way he is, that shouldn’t be a problem.

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